Living alone on the streets of Londra since the death of her mother, Tabetha Brown survives by pretending to be a boy and searching for treasure in the mud on the banks of the river Themse. Approached by a sinister stranger on Christmas Eve, she is asked to keep her eyes open for the magical Glass of Lead and Gold, a priceless treasure.
Tabetha has to learn to rely others as word of the Glass spreads and she attracts unwanted attention. But as things get increasingly dangerous, who can she really trust?
Set in an alternative London, this is a wonderful story, full of fabulous magical creatures. Cornelia Funke’s world building is second to none and the reader is treated to the sights, sounds and smells of this London with a difference.
Tabetha is very well drawn. Wary of the world, yet craving kindness, she does her best to survive in an uncaring world, hurting before she is hurt. My favourite character, however, is the wonderfully named Ofelia Fuentes, with her intriguing family history.
The book itself is a thing of beauty, illustrated throughout by the author. Perfect for older readers looking for something a bit different, with an imagination that appreciates the wonderful world building, this is a brilliant read.
The Glass of Lead and Gold Cornelia Funke
Pushkin Press ISBN: 978-1782691983